Yoruba Richen will #SayHerName in an upcoming New York Times docuseries. The Hollywood Reporter confirms the “New Black” director is helming a doc about Breonna Taylor, the young Black woman who was murdered in her Louisville home by police on March 13, after they executed a no-knock warrant.
The project will be an episode of “The New York Times Presents,” which is replacing the “The Weekly,” another NYT docuseries, at FX and Hulu. “Like ‘The Weekly,’ each episode of ‘The New York Times Presents’ will cover a single subject, but installments will run an hour rather than a half-hour,” the source specifies. “The New York Times Presents” will premiere Friday, July 10, with “They Get Brave,” a portrait of NYC healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. It is produced and directed by Samantha Stark, Alexandra Garcia, Lora Moftah, and John Pappas.
In her episode, Richen and “Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi will explore Taylor’s life and investigate the circumstances of her death.” Like the recent murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, among others, Taylor’s death has inspired protests, outrage, and demands for justice. In Louisville, the tragedy has led to the ban of no-knock warrants, the naming of a new police chief, a requirement that body cams be used while utilizing search warrants, and a civilian review board for police matters — as well as calls for justice for other Black citizens who have been killed by police.
Earlier this week, “the Louisville Metro Police Department released a letter of termination that it sent to Brent Hankison, the former officer who ‘blindly fired’ 10 rounds into a covered patio door and a window,” the Times reports. “The other officers involved in the case — Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — have been placed on administrative reassignment. None of the officers face criminal charges.”
Taylor would have turned 27 on June 5.
Also among “The New York Times Presents” lineup is Garcia’s “This Is Dominic Fike: The Next Big Thing?” The tribute to the titular pop singer will bow August 7.
Richen’s latest doc, “The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show,” was selected for Hot Docs 2020, but did not end up screening due to the pandemic. Richen’s other credits include “The New Black,” “Promised Land,” and “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom.” She won the Audience Award at AFI Docs Festival for the former.
“The best advice [I have received is from] my late mother, who was and still is so crucial to my becoming an artist and understanding of what it means to be an artist. Her best advice was to not let fear hinder what you do, and that’s everything from the kind of subjects to take on as a documentary filmmaker, to even committing to be a documentary filmmaker,” Richen told us. “As women, especially, we can second guess our abilities. But wading through all that fare and pushing it aside is what has allowed me to continue.”